Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mad About Macarons: Guest Post Spotlight

I am honored to welcome to LC, The Queen of the Macarons, Jill Colonna.  Jill is the author of the fantastic book, Mad About Macarons.

Jill's work is consistently witty, smart and well-written.  She's mastered the art of macarons.  Elevating the mac to new heights with varied and eclectic flavor combinations.  Jill always has a surprise up her sleeve.

Here's Jill's gallery on Kitchen Artistry it's a true feast for the eyes.

Please stop by Mad About Macarons check out her work, she's an absolute superstar.  I guarantee you make a classy and sweet new friend.


It’s great to be on Lazaro Cooks. Personally I wish I could be here in person: somehow living in Miami with continuous BBQ weather must turn you into a real dude. Miami Vice? Pah! Miami's Lazaro should have his own TV show, don’t you think?

No need to go on how Laz rocks, as that’s why you’re here. So what on earth could I make for such a brilliant chef? I thought of Florida’s sun and its citrus fruits, and as I had a few macarons left over (this happens at times), I kept with the same flavour combination and added a couple mini desserts with different textures. I suppose it’s a kind of Café Gourmet à la Laz.

The flavour combination is intriguing. If you’re into refreshing bitter cocktail drinks then this concoction will talk to you.

As one of my favourite pre-dinner summer tipples is a Campari and orange on crushed ice, I first wondered what it would be like to add the same kind of bitter appeal from carcadé. Carcadé is a dark red infusion made from dried hibiscus flowers that I discovered in the sizzling heat in Egypt – and it resurfaced the other day when I was cleaning out my kitchen cupboards (this often happens, too.)

Somehow the infusion’s bitterness quenches your thirst, it’s an antioxidant and it’s pretty addictive. There’s a lot to be said for healthy stuff that’s compulsive eating/drinking! A little added to freshly squeezed blood oranges and topped up with Campari and ice? This reddish-pink cocktail just looked at me and pleaded, “Macaron me, baby.”

Then this macaron said…. Och enough. So this macaron turned into a wee trilogy, served with a blood orange-campari ice cream with hibiscus jelly and an inverted tartlet.

As the recipes could be quite long here, I’m following in Laz’s style by just talking you through it briefly, but if anyone is really interested in me posting the full recipe later, just contact me via MadAboutMacarons.com.

Instead of going for a sorbet, I chose a custardy-based ice cream. Let’s just say when you use whites for making macarons, I’m always looking for egg yolk recipe excuses. In place of 1/10 of the cream, I used Campari and the grated zest of an untreated organic blood orange then served it on blood orange segments and an hibiscus jelly: infused the hibiscus flowers in water, added sugar and pre-soaked gelatine (2g for 200ml infusion.) It’s my adult version of my childhood jelly and ice cream. Note that the ice cream melted quite quickly due to the alcohol content. It’s a beautifully soft ice cream but not ideal for someone like me who’s long at taking photos!

For the inverted tartlet, I blind-baked some short crust pastry and made the tartlet ‘filling’ using

 Egg yolks
·        Superfine sugar
·        Blood orange juice
·        Hibiscus infusion
·        Campari
·        Butter
·        1 sheet of pre-soaked gelatine
then broke up the pastry and plonked it on top. Et voilà.

A Trilogy of Blood Orange, Hibiscus and Campari

Please stop by and say hello to the very talented Jill at Mad About Macarons.

That's it for now...till we exchange a few words again...Peace!


  1. Thanks so much for having me over on Lazaro Cooks, Laz. I mean it: I expect to see you on TV soon with your own show. From one of your biggest fans. J xo

  2. This is a taste of spring. Slightly bitter, beautiful color and rich and warming.

  3. This looks absolutely awesome! Loved it!!

  4. I so want to taste this Jill, my imagination just will not do! Nice to see you guest posting here and you did bring a winner of a dessert with you. Your pictures are incredibly inviting! I enjoyed seeing this and have saved it to try-yum!

  5. Wow this looks amazing Jill! And you are right Laz needs his own tv show LOL.

  6. Hi Jill, thanks for the great blog post here today! I look forward to seeing what all Larzo has going on. Blessings.
    Catherine @ www.praycookblog.com

  7. What great flavour combos. And its SO pretty :D

  8. Oh, how fun to find Jill here, Lazaro! She has the BEST sense of humor...and I love her posts as much as her macarons! And here you've blessed us with two winners...both magnificent, Jill. Thank you both!

  9. She captured you Laz...Bold and colorful!

  10. Jill is one of the funniest, warmest, nicest people I know and I am so happy to see her sharing here... she is also super talented and a genius who comes up with fabulous flavor combinations! I love this recipe... thanks for featuring her here, Lazaro! Great post, you two :)

  11. Jill, I love that you did the post Laz's style :) This dessert looks incredible, loving the colors and the flavors here!

  12. Hi Laz! Great to see Jill here today. I've been following Jill for a long time as long as I remember, and she always brings the best dessert on the guest posts she writes. Such a thoughtful recipe here for Florida weather. :-) Great guest post, you guys!

  13. Wow!! Jill your dessert is absolutely STUNNING! The colors the flavor, and I can imagine the texture as well. So great to see you on Laz's site, he really does rock =] Have a great day you two!

  14. Hi Laz,

    Hopping over from Jill's blog -- what a lovely guest spotlight. Jill's desserts are amazing and so drool-worthy :)

  15. Such an elegant complement to those gorgeous luscious macarons. A desert of the Gods. Wow!

  16. Thanks for introducing us to Jill, Laz!

    Jill, your macs are gorgeous and I love the sound of that trilogy you came up with! It would be perfect for a special occasion.

  17. Jill has done it again! What a great recipe. so springy!

  18. The color on that macaron is just stunning, and what a fabulous flavor combination.

  19. Beautiful...as usual. The macaroons are just gorgeous.

  20. Visiting via Mad About Macarons - Lovely, lovely guest post Laz. Such a big fan of Jill's and what a gorgeous trio of desserts she's produced. Love the flavours and all the different textures. Why have one dessert when you can have three, right? :)

  21. What a delightful treat Jill...both you wonderful inverted tartlet as well as your always beautiful macarons. Along with seeing you guest post here!
    Delightful guest post Laz!

  22. Very beautiful and wow what a talent you are Jill. Great guest post.

  23. What a sweet guest post :-), yum!


  24. I spent the entire morning reading a book on bitters. I am completely intrigued.
    The flavor combination here is stunning!


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